As people begin to travel in greater numbers amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, new restrictions and requirements to travel are becoming commonplace. This week, the U.S. introduced a requirement for travelers over the age of two to have a negative COVID-19 test within three days of travel. Airlines are now required to ensure passengers have this completed before allowing them to board flights to the U.S. In response, airlines have begun partnering with technology companies to help passengers navigate these restrictions by destination.
American Airlines has partnered with Daon, a biometrics software company, to introduce the VeriFLY app to help travelers manage international travel requirements. Starting Jan. 23, passengers can download the app, which will become a one-stop place for international travelers to understand restrictions and requirements at their destinations. It will also allow the airline to easily verify if a passenger meets the governmental requirements to board any given flight. Passengers will enter the necessary information, including a negative test result, and the app will then notify the passengers if they meet the requirements to travel to their destination.
American has been testing the app since Nov. 18 for passengers traveling from Miami to Montego Bay, Jamaica, and Kingston, Jamaica. It has since been expanded to people traveling to Columbia, Chile, El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. As the new testing requirement for passengers arriving in the U.S. comes into effect, all passengers will be able to utilize the app. According to American Airlines, thousands of travelers have already used the new app before its general launch.
As the pandemic continues, travel restrictions and requirements will become more commonplace. Multiple countries — including the U.S. and the United Kingdom — have instituted requirements for negative tests before departure. It has become the burden of the airlines to ensure that passengers have a negative test before they board the aircraft. Partnering with technology companies to develop software to streamline the process will help the airlines ensure they meet government requirements as well as simplifying the process for passengers.
The ability to have travel restrictions and requirements in one location will also help passengers understand what they need to do while traveling. Although the pandemic has significantly reduced international travel, there is still a need for many to travel. By providing passengers with an easy way to understand the restrictions and quarantines currently mandated, airlines can facilitate the process for those who need to travel but are unsure of the requirements. Mobile apps appear to be the future for international travel in the age of the pandemic, as well as helping to keep track of vaccinations as they become better distributed around the world.